Touring the Windy City....December 8 in New Zealand
... and not Chicago! This is the also the name given to Wellington, and it certainly lives up to it! So today is Dave’s New Zealand Birthday and we started it out with an awesome buffet breakfast at our hotel - with enough food to last us till dinner! We walked along the waterfront to the New Zealand Museum (or Te Papa in Māori) and spent a few hours in there looking at the exhibitions. It was very interesting to see how immigration to New Zealand began, and has changed so much over the years, from the 1800’s when people either came here from Australia to explore, or on ships from far away, to the 40’s when Europeans were escaping persecution as a result of the war, to the 50’s and 60’s where the government encouraged immigration and offered jobs and housing and a lot of British people took advantage of a new life. One of the art exhibits was a cool “brick” wall where dry erase pens were supplied and people could add their sentiments - which of course I did! As we were leaving the museum, the local Salvation Army Band was playing Christmas carols in the foyer, with the audience singing along, so we stopped to watch for a while (and couldn’t help messaging our kids to reminisce on “Merry Christmas Mr. Bean! 😂😂).
Next we walked through town to where a cable car took us up the hill to the Botanical Gardens in Wellington - glad we didn’t have to make that hike up, and the cable car was pretty cool! We toured around the gardens and enjoyed the view from high above the city. The walk through the gardens is all downhill, ending up at a pretty rose garden, the town cemetery,and the parliament buildings. One large memorial was to a man named Richard Seddon, who was originally from a town close to a Liverpool, emigrated to Australia, then to New Zealand’s west coast to make his fortune in gold, and eventually became the Premier of New Zealand. His story is quite colourful and makes for an interesting read, especially since he had no formal education beyond the age of 12, but obviously, he was a popular leader!
We had a look at the Parliament buildings, and the interesting building next door called the Bee Hive, which houses the office of the Prime Minister and cabinet offices, as well as a large conference area. On the opposite side is the Parliamentary Library - a totally different looking building! We talked to one of the security guards outside Parliament, who told us a little about New Zealand’s current Prime Minister, Jacinda Adern, who became PM at the age of 37, and is the first PM ever to have a child while in office. He told us she is quite popular with the people of New Zealand, and that many appreciate the younger views she brings to running the country.
We headed down to have a look at the old railway station, just down from parliament, then after walking over 12km came back to the hotel for a rest! We then got ready and went out for a nice dinner for Dave’s Birthday! Funny how on a Friday night, this area of the city is hopping with people, but on a Saturday, it’s like a ghost town! The hostess in the restaurant explained to us that on Fridays, everyone stays downtown after work to go for drinks and dinner, but that Saturday is their slowest night of the week! Good thing cos it was pretty easy to get a table! 😜. Happy Birthday Dave!Read more